A searing exposé that might make readers wonder how Army commanders and civilian warmongers sleep at night given the...

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LETHAL WARRIORS

WHEN THE NEW BAND OF BROTHERS CAME HOME

The shameful story of how the U.S. Army has played a role in the mistreatment of traumatized soldiers who served in Iraq, then returned to Fort Carson, Colo., to commit rapes, murders and other violent crimes.

Colorado Springs Gazette features writer Philipps grew up in Colorado Springs, the locale of Fort Carson. Earlier this decade, he began to learn about the post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD) suffered by thousands of returning Army infantrymen who both saw and committed atrocities in Iraq. (The same phenomenon is unfolding among American soldiers returning from Afghanistan, but that is not the focus here.) The author looks at soldiers from one specific combat team, some of whom dubbed themselves “the lethal warriors,” patterned loosely on the now-famous Band of Brothers from World War II. As the book opens in December 2007, a Colorado Springs newspaper carrier finds one of the PTSD-disabled soldiers, Kevin Shields, dead on the street. Somebody murdered Shields, but at first police and Fort Carson authorities could not identify a viable suspect. It turns out that Shields’ colleagues from Iraq killed their comrade. Some of the rampaging Fort Carson personnel had built up criminal records before joining the military, but others had not, and certainly none had been previously convicted of a violent crime. Philipps names names as he demonstrates an entire military chain of command in denial about the very existence of PTSD. The few commanders who would acknowledge the problem refused to institute meaningful treatment or safeguards to protect innocent bystanders from assaults. However, the author does identify one military hero from the PTSD realm—Maj. Gen. Mark Graham, who took charge of Fort Carson and supported treatment programs that have reduced the carnage in Colorado Springs.

A searing exposé that might make readers wonder how Army commanders and civilian warmongers sleep at night given the disgraceful handling of traumatized veterans who fought in Iraq.

Pub Date: Nov. 9, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-230-10440-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Aug. 11, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2010

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The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

NIGHT

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our...

THINKING, FAST AND SLOW

A psychologist and Nobel Prize winner summarizes and synthesizes the recent decades of research on intuition and systematic thinking.

The author of several scholarly texts, Kahneman (Emeritus Psychology and Public Affairs/Princeton Univ.) now offers general readers not just the findings of psychological research but also a better understanding of how research questions arise and how scholars systematically frame and answer them. He begins with the distinction between System 1 and System 2 mental operations, the former referring to quick, automatic thought, the latter to more effortful, overt thinking. We rely heavily, writes, on System 1, resorting to the higher-energy System 2 only when we need or want to. Kahneman continually refers to System 2 as “lazy”: We don’t want to think rigorously about something. The author then explores the nuances of our two-system minds, showing how they perform in various situations. Psychological experiments have repeatedly revealed that our intuitions are generally wrong, that our assessments are based on biases and that our System 1 hates doubt and despises ambiguity. Kahneman largely avoids jargon; when he does use some (“heuristics,” for example), he argues that such terms really ought to join our everyday vocabulary. He reviews many fundamental concepts in psychology and statistics (regression to the mean, the narrative fallacy, the optimistic bias), showing how they relate to his overall concerns about how we think and why we make the decisions that we do. Some of the later chapters (dealing with risk-taking and statistics and probabilities) are denser than others (some readers may resent such demands on System 2!), but the passages that deal with the economic and political implications of the research are gripping.

Striking research showing the immense complexity of ordinary thought and revealing the identities of the gatekeepers in our minds.

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-374-27563-1

Page Count: 512

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: Sept. 4, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2011

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